Nail salon in court

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a Melbourne-based nail salon.

Facing court is Meow Made Nailart Studio Pty Ltd, which is based at Docklands.

The regulator began an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from a worker employed at Meow Made Nailart Studio as a full-time nail technician from October 2018 to August 2019.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Meow Made Nailart Studio in March 2021 after forming a belief the worker had not been paid entitlements owed under the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010.

The inspector formed a belief that the worker was underpaid the full-time minimum wage.

The worker, an international student, was aged 19 at the start of his employment.

The FWO alleges Meow Made Nailart Studio, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required the calculation and back-payment of the worker’s outstanding entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws in a proportionate manner during the COVID-19 pandemic and take business operators to court where lawful requests are not complied with.

“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance,” Ms Parker said.

The FWO is seeking penalties against Meow Made Nailart Studio Pty Ltd. The company faces a maximum penalty of up to $33,300 for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice.

The regulator is also seeking an order for the company to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying any underpayments in full, plus interest.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne on 20 October 2021.

Employers and employees can visit or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations in the workplace. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50. Small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase.

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